It was Halloween at the Hervey Cats shelter and Gary and Morris were having a blast playing with all the decorations. Morris had got himself tangled in a bunch of fake spider webs just as Gary was rubbing his face across a pumpkin stem.
“These stems really hit the spot,” said Gary.
“No kidding?” said Morris. “I’m in a bit of a situation here.”
“Looks like it,” said Gary.
“Little help?” said Morris.
Gary walked over and tried to pull the webs away from Morris, but he then got tangled as well.
“What do we do?” said Morris.
Both cats looked at each other, then started meowing loudly.
Marjorie, the owner of the shelter, came over after she heard the cats’ meows.
“How did you two manage to get stuck so badly?”
She bent down and snapped a photo of the two cats with her phone, then went to work gently removing the fake spiderwebs.
“Well, this is embarrassing,” said Morris.
“This is the life we chose,” said Gary.
Once free, the two cats continued to mosey around the shelter and rub up against the legs of visitors and staff. They jumped on some counters and watched guests walk around. Some even had their Halloween costumes on!
“When it starts to get dark out, we are going outside to check out the trick or treaters!” said Gary.
“I am in!” said Morris.
After a couple of hours of napping, Gary and Morris were awoken when they heard Marjorie doing her final rounds for the day. They could hear her keys clinking together, and with how sensitive a cat’s hearing is, even when asleep it was enough to break their slumber.
The two cats rubbed the sleeping dust from their eyes and headed outside. The air was cool and moist, but it was still warm enough to be comfortable with just their fur coats.
“It’s a gorgeous night!” said Morris.
“Ain’t that the truth!” said Gary.
The two cats trotted along the street until they could start to see some of the trick-or-treaters from the neighbourhood walking about.
Halloween was one of the cats’ favourite times of the year. As people watchers, the one night a year where people dress up in elaborate and bright costumes is a feast for their eyes. Gary and Morris both climbed up on the roof of a local store and lay down on their tummies with their heads hanging over the ledge.
“There goes a pumpkin!” said Gary. “And there’s a ghost!”
“That one looks like a zombie!” said Morris.
The cats were having a blast pointing out all the different costumes. The area has lots of young families, so Halloween is always a great time in the neighbourhood.
“DOG!” shouted Morris.
Both cats darted down from the roof of the building as a dog made eye contact with Morris and started to bark. Being spooked, both cats ran as fast as they could until suddenly, they were at the edge of the forest.
“That caught me off guard!” said Gary.
“Sorry, you know how scary it is when a dog notices you,” said Morris.
“I do, I just… I just didn’t expect it!” said Gary.
“Well, should we head back?” said Morris.
Gary paused, then turned one of his ears towards the forest.
“Did you hear that?” he said.
“Hear what?” said Morris.
“I thought I heard a human laughing,” said Gary.
“Oh well,” said Morris. “Let’s head back to where we were! You know! The place that has lots of people and is well lit? This spot is giving me the creeps.”
“I don’t know, do you see that glow?” said Gary.
“What glow? Oh… wait a minute. I think I see what you mean,” said Morris.
The cats slowly started moving past the trees and into the forest, drawn by their natural curiosity.
“What is that glowing?” said Gary.
The glow was a soft green colour, as if a neon light was left somewhere in the dark forest, beckoning them forward.
“Can you hear that?” said Morris. “People!”
The cats could hear voices now. They were shrill and high-pitched and were having some sort of fun on account of how much they were laughing.
Gary and Morris both found spots near a tree and sat down to watch from afar. There were three women with dark hair, dark robes, and pointed hats, all surrounding a large pot. The unusual part? The fire the pot was sitting above was glowing green. Even stranger, the pot didn’t seem to be suspended from anything.
As the women stood around the pot, they added ingredients to their mix, chanting songs and poems from what looked like ancient texts. And boy did they ever laugh.
“What’s so funny?” said Gary. “I don’t see anything funny happening, they are just cooking!”
“Who knows,” said Morris. “Humans are weird.”
The cats sat and stared for a bit longer, but Morris became so focused he ended up stepping on a branch and breaking it.
The three women instantly snapped their heads towards the cat.
“Who goes there?” called out one of the women.
The cats slowly walked out from behind their tree.
“Some feline friends!” said one of the other women. “Familiars!”
Gary and Morris were a little confused, a little apprehensive, but somehow, they felt welcomed by the trio of humans.
Gary decided to run up to one of the women and rub against her legs to see if she was friendly. The woman was immediately receptive and gave him some pets on the forehead. Morris ran up to one of the others and had the same experience.
The women then turned their focus back on their giant black pot which seemed to be hovering over the top of that mysterious, green-coloured fire.
The women then started to chant, simultaneously, the exact same sets of words. Gary and Morris looked up at their faces, which all seemed to be vacant, with their eyes staring ahead.
Suddenly the women’s eyes shot upwards and went totally white. Their feet started to lift off the ground slowly until all three women were about two inches off the ground, gently swaying back and forth.
“What is happening?!” said Gary.
“I… I don’t know,” said Morris.
Suddenly the women stopped chanting and a large beam of light shot out of the black pot and into the sky, filling it with light temporarily.
“My goodness!” said Morris.
The two cats sat there, jaws dropped. Suddenly the three women returned to the earth and their eyes rolled back forward.
“Thank you kitties,” they said. “We were casting a very important spell to ensure another year of survival for the three of us. You see, we are very, very old.”
“How old are you?” said Gary.
“A lady never tells,” said one woman.
“We are hundreds of years old,” replied another.
“That’s impossible,” said Morris.
“Sometimes things you wouldn’t think are possible… actually are,” said another one of the women.
“Right…” said Morris.
“Things like speaking to cats,” she said.
“Wait a minute!” said Gary. “You CAN understand us!”
“That’s right. We three are what are known as witches,” said one of the women. “We are magical beings whose powers can be amplified in the presence of a familiar. A familiar is a creature that boosts the power of a magical being, and cats are natural familiars.”
“And you two cats helped us greatly this evening,” said another witch. “Every year we come here to cast the spell that guarantees us another year of life on earth, but with you two present, we were able to guarantee another five years!”
“We feel so full of energy!” said the third witch. “Thank you, Gary and Morris!”
“How do you know our names?” said Gary.
“We know everything,” said all three witches in unison.
Gary and Morris said their goodbyes to the witches and started to walk away from their site in the forest. They got about twenty steps ahead and started to debrief what they just witnessed.
“That was… unexpected,” said Gary.
“Wait, I want to ask them one more question,” said Morris.
The cats looked back and there was nothing there. The site where the pot was boiling on the green fire was empty. The grass was all pressed down into the earth, but there wasn’t a single person around. It was like they just up and disappeared.
The two cats were still in shock from the initial meeting with the witches, and now they were even further in shock at the fact they had disappeared entirely in a matter of seconds.
As they walked back to the shelter, Gary and Morris didn’t say a word. They couldn’t believe their eyes.
Once inside, they ate some food and then lay down by the window.
“That’s a Halloween to remember, hey Gary?” said Morris.
“That’s putting it lightly,” said Gary. “I still don’t understand what we saw, but that sure was interesting.”
“What is a witch?” said Morris.
“I thought they were just little kids who ran around looking for candy on Halloween,” said Gary.
“Those certainly weren’t kids,” said Morris. “I hope they are okay!”
“Well thanks to us, they should be for at least five more years!” said Gary.